Two men arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life after Crooked House pub fire

  • Mark McQuillan has the latest on the investigation into the destroyed pub

Two men have been arrested by police investigating the suspected arson attack at the Crooked House pub in Himley, near Dudley.A 66-year-old man, from Dudley, and a 33-year-old man, from Milton Keynes, have been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.They remain in custody and are being questioned by officers from Staffordshire Police while the investigation continues.

The Crooked House up in flames. Credit: BMP Media

The much-loved pub, once branded Britain's "wonkiest", burnt down on Saturday 5 August 2023.

The building was then swiftly demolished, in actions described by South Staffordshire Council as "not agreed or deemed necessary."

What has been happening at the site?

There have been regular protests at the site over the pub's fate and calls from the public, pub campaigners and the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to rebuild the pub "brick by brick."

When asked about the possibility of doing this, the council said: "We are not in a position to comment on any speculation about any future plans for the Crooked House but when there are further updates will provide them in due course.”

Contractors have been present with machinery, and have been seen sifting through the debris and moving bricks around.

An agreement was reached between the contractors and South Staffordshire Council that bricks and foundations would remain on site to aid with any future investigations, but that the site would be secured and any hazardous waste removed.

Why is the Crooked House crooked?

The building was built as a farmhouse in 1765 on an estate later owned by the Glynne family - Glynne Arms would become the original name of the pub.

Mining beneath the building caused one side of the building to begin sinking until one end was four feet lower than the other, creating the leaning appearance. The building was turned into a pub in the 1830s.

It became known as Crooked House or Siden House. In Black Country dialect, siden means "side-in" or crooked – and was officially renamed in 2002.

Since then, it's been a tourist attraction, with people travelling from around the world to see bottles and marbles appear to roll up hill, given the tilt of the floor and walls.